(Jim Blockey) – I was reading an article in Teacher Magazine titled “Keeping Great Teachers in the Classroom.” It stated that, “a recent report by the nonprofit National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future reports that “approximately a third of America’s new teachers leave teaching sometime during their first three years of teaching; almost half leave during the first five years.”
Who benefits? The school districts! They never have to pay any of these teachers a decent salary, and most do not have enough years in the system to qualify for retirement (despite the fact they pay into it).
So believe it or not, the school system puts money way ahead of education. If you were wondering why there is no discipline in schools… now you know, to retain a high teacher turnover.
You see, as I have been saying for over 12 years, “Teachers do not quit because of pay, teachers quit because of working conditions.”
If you wonder why the Teachers Associations do not ever protest or bargain for better working conditions… it is simple… they get the same amount of money from a teacher no matter what their salary is.
So a 30 year veteran and a rookie pay the NEA the same amount, there is no benefit for them to bargain for better working conditions. I have tried and tried to get local association to stop bargaining for more money and start getting teachers better working conditions.
In November of 2001, yes a couple of months after the attack, when tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs, the local association was protesting in front of the education building on Flamingo Road for more money.
I was so outraged at this I went and talked with the Executive Director and explained my outrage. His answer to me was they had planned this protest several months ago.
I asked him, if there was no way to cancel this, why didn’t you just change it from more money to better working conditions? Instead you make teachers look like greedy jackasses. He asked me to leave and thanked me for coming in.
(Mr. Blockey is author of “Teachers…It Ain’t Your Fault”)